Corporate brand building in different stages of small business growth

Research paper by Mari Juntunen, Saila Saraniemi, Milla Halttu, Jaana Tähtinen

Indexed on: 30 Oct '10Published on: 30 Oct '10Published in: Journal of Brand Management


This study develops an empirically grounded framework for corporate brand building at different stages of a small business growth. The framework suggests specific functions for brand building at each growth stage, starting from a company's pre-establishment stage. Moreover, the functions are specified by presenting the activities performed and the actors involved in each function. The contextual theory development applies a qualitative approach and a case study of two cases. This study offers both a comprehensive and a detailed description of corporate branding in small business, as it takes in an implicit time perspective by connecting the branding functions to small business growth, and details each function. The study shows that corporate branding begins even before the company itself is established and suggests new functions, such as managing branding relationships and utilizing feedback to monitor and guide the process. The framework provides managers a guiding principle to plan, evaluate, change and enhance corporate branding processes. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study on corporate branding process in the growth of small business.